Facebook is considering hiding the exact number of likes a post receives, according to a September 2019 CNBC article. BGSU students spoke out about their connection to and usage of Facebook and how they think this change might impact society and other students.
There are many reasons people use Facebook, whether it be parents staying connected to their child who has gone away to college or students updating others about their life with photos.
Whatever the reason may be, every post has a small like button in the bottom left corner. While some people might not pay attention, or even care about the number of likes they receive, for others, the number of likes means everything to them, especially to the younger generation. Students at BGSU have noticed this as well.
“As a college student myself, I find that the number of likes someone gets could affect the way people view themselves and what they post, especially those of college age. People post for likes,” said sophomore human development and family studies major Julia Printy.
In today’s society, people tend to post or share pictures with the intent of receiving a lot of likes and social acceptance. According to an April 2019 study performed by the Pew Research Center, about 75% of people ages 18 to 24, the typical age of a college student, use Facebook at least once a day. Due to being used so often, the exposure to Facebook and “like” counts could lead to issues relating to self-image.
With Facebook looking to hide the number of likes a post receives, this could prevent users from comparing how many likes their post received to someone else’s post. Crystal Martin, sophomore applied science and pre-med major, agreed with this statement.
“I feel like removing likes is a good idea because it takes the pressure off of the people to try to get likes, and it removes the mindset of ‘what if people don’t accept me for posting this,’” she said.
While some students at BGSU think removing likes is a good idea that will lead to a positive impact, other students thought otherwise.
“I feel like it’ll definitely push a lot of college students, specifically, away from the platform, and I don’t think it’s really going to change much to be honest,” said junior digital arts major Josh Kuhn.
Not all people look at “like” counts. There are many reasons why students may or may not look at “like” counts; it depends on the person and if they feel the number of “likes” they receive has any benefit or none at all. Some BGSU students looked at the counts out of pure enjoyment and curiosity.
“I will admit I look at the number of likes I get, but only because it’s interesting. I don’t let it affect how I view myself. I don’t seek out likes like others do that are my age,” Printy said.
One student said “like” counts don’t even cross his mind as he scrolls through his feed.
“I use Facebook probably daily, but I don’t really look at them or even notice them really,” Kuhn said.
Facebook has not yet revealed an exact date or time as to when they plan to begin hiding likes. BGSU students have some opinions on the possible impacts, but no one knows if the effects will be positive or negative.
“Our age group is most of the people on social media, so I feel that this will definitely have more of an effect on us. We’re the age group that really cares about that type of stuff,” Martin said.